The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Tuesday that it intends to showcase additional races to assist trainers in their preparation for the upcoming spring festivals.
The basis behind the decision was so that horses who may miss out on essential qualifying or rehearsal runs in the coming ten days due to new vaccination regulations have a chance to boost their fitness and sharpness on the track.
These opportunities are set to be scheduled across the weekend of the 23rd of February, and will only be eligible to horses who have been vaccinated within the last six months - many of whom who have been jabbed this week after the outbreak of equine influenza last Wednesday.
Rupert Arnold, Chairman of the National Trainers’ Federation was satisfied with the BHA's conclusions and outcomes from the weekend's sample results.
(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "My phone has hardly stopped since 7am but things have changed a bit now and the six-month rule isn’t quite the issue it might have been.
"When the idea was first broached we were not pleased about it because of the practical difficulties for trainers. They were advised last month to give booster vaccinations if they could, but to overnight make it a condition of racing was quite a shock to the system."
"Trainers generally avoid vaccinating mid-season, particularly close to big races, because some horses react adversely and the new rule will affect different trainers in different ways.
"Some, Paul Nicholls among them, routinely vaccinate between Christmas and new year, so they will be better placed than those who do it when the horses first go out for a summer break or when they come back in.
"It’s going to be tricky for some, even with the rescheduled and additional races, but we understand the BHA's industry veterinary committee’s point of view."
Nicholls confirmed at the Grand National Weights Meeting on Tuesday that his runners due to run were all available to do so, as every year they are vaccinated in the first week of January.
However Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson is one of many who has had to pull several of their respective stable stars out of action in the coming days.
Henderson has had to withdraw RSA fancy Santini from his prep race in the Reynoldstown at Ascot this weekend, due to the fact they do not meet the new requirements.
Verdana Blue and Top Notch are others from the stable ineligible to run, whilst 2017 Grand National One For Arthur will also be unavailable for Lucinda Russell.